Their Heads are Green Hardcover – 21 Jun 1963
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'Bowles is at his best in writing about places. He can evoke a place with a few sure strokes.' (New York Times)
AUTHORBIO: To mark the ninetieth birthday of one of America's greatest writers, Peter Owen is pleased to reissue a selection of his best work in our Modern Classics series. Born in New York in 1910, he came to Europe to study music with Aaron Copland. In 1938 he married Jane Auer, who was to achieve literary recognition under her married name of Jane Bowles. After the war they went to Morocco and settled in Tangiers which is still Paul Bowles's permanent home. He is the author of the acclaimed novel The Sheltering Sky which has since become a modern classic and which was filmed by Bernardo Bertolucci. His other books include Let It Come Down, Call at Corazn, Points in Time and The Spider's House. -- New York Times
'Very vivid and individual; and of course being Bowles the writing needs no comment.' -- Guardian
At his best when writing about places . . . The best Bowles I have read for a long time . . . Brilliant.' -- The Spectator --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The first two pieces in the book deal with Sri Lanka (known in the fifties when this book was written as Ceylon). Bowles lived in Weligma, South Ceylon from 1952 to 1959. A black-and-white photo (all the pictures acompanying the text or B&W) depicts the incredibly lush vista he enjoyed from his veranda. The beauty of the place is largely counterbalanced by Bowles' descriptions of the intolerable heat and humidity of the region, which combined with the incessant swarms of mosquitoes, made a good night's sleep about impossible. This would be a recurring motif throughout the reports. Finding lodging and adequate sleeping arrangements were constant aggravations in the out-of-the way environs Bowles visits.
When Bowles writes of out-of-the way destinations, they really are remote in the strictest sense of the word. He takes the reader to regions that were (and are, for the most part) seldom visited by western travellers, and there are good reasons these are not popular tourist spots. Most of the towns don't possess what any western traveller would think of as a hotel. In practically every town (and that is a loose description as well) the only place a traveller can find quarters is at some hovel, where electricity, much less plumbing, is a rarity.
The reader may ask, why did Bowles choose to visit such remote habitats?Read more ›